Friday, 31 May 2019

Gaming disorder classified as a disease by WHO

More than a year after it was proposed as an addictive behavior, gaming disorder is now officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a disease.

Gaming disorder is included in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and manifests in three ways:
  • impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  • increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities 
  • continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.


Burnout is an 'occupational phenomenon' not disease: WHO - updated

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday (May 28) that "burnout" remains an "occupational phenomenon" that could lead someone to seek care but it is not considered a medical condition.

The clarification came a day after the WHO mistakenly said it had listed burnout in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) for the first time.

WHO has now defined burnout as "a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed". "Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life," according to the definition.

It said the syndrome was characterised by:
  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 
  • increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and 
  • reduced professional efficacy.


You may want to read Commentary: What is behind burnout? 

Hair loss pills and steroids can harm men's fertility warn experts

Image for illustration only

Men are damaging their chances of having children by going to the gym 'to look wonderful and attract women', experts have warned.

Scientists have said drugs used for muscle growth and anti-baldness pills can have side effects including erectile dysfunction and infertility.

The ironic effect has been labelled the Mossman-Pacey paradox after the scientists who first described it, noticing more buff men needing fertility tests.

Professor Allan Pacey, from the University of Sheffield, told the BBC: 'Isn't it ironic that men go to the gym to look wonderful, for the most part to attract women, and inadvertently decrease their fertility.'


Having a tattoo can affect your chances of getting a job in Singapore: Survey

If you had an interview for an executive position, you might decide to cover up the tattoo on your arm. While you felt your tattoo said something about you, in an interview setting you probably wanted those sentiments to go unspoken.

At least one study published in recent times showed no correlation between employment level or salary and having tattoos. This held true whether the tattoos were visible or whether a person had one tattoo or many.

Unfortunately, a recent study conducted by YouGov with 1,075 Singaporeans found that close to half (47%) of the respondents said they would be less inclined to hire someone with a tattoo, even if he/she was qualified for the position.


My 2 cents
I used to work in an air-con company. One day, we had a new employee with some tattoos on his arms. But by the end of the day, he was dismissed. 

The reason: Customers called up the company and told us not to send that same guy to their homes in future.

Even though this was many years ago, older Singaporeans are still very conservative about tattoos. To them, tattoos are associated with gangs, bad guys, uneducated, not trustworthy, etc.

To the young who think tattoos are cool, just a reminder. Not all people think tattoos are cool. A few small ones may be ok, but big tattoos are still unwelcome in conservative Asia.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Singapore the top country for children to grow up in: NGO report

Singapore has been ranked the best country in the world for a child to grow up healthy, educated and protected, with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

For the second year in a row, the annual Global Childhood Report, compiled by non-governmental organisation Save The Children, placed the nation at the top of a list of more than 170 countries.

Its latest End of Childhood index compares the latest data from 176 countries – more than any year before – and assesses where the most and fewest children are missing out on vital aspects of childhood.

“The United States, China and Russia may be the three most powerful countries in the world – in terms of their economic, military and technological strength and global influence – but all three badly trail most of Western Europe in helping children reach their full potential,” noted the report.


Singapore overtakes US, Hong Kong to be world’s most competitive economy

Singapore is the world’s most competitive economy in a yearly ranking of 63 economies released on Wednesday (May 29) by Switzerland-based research group IMD World Competitiveness Centre.

Singapore’s return to the top spot – its first time since 2010 – was due to an advanced technological infrastructure, the availability of skilled labour, favourable immigration laws and efficient ways to set up new businesses, the report said.

Hong Kong – the only other Asian economy in the overall top 10 – held on to the second spot due to a benign tax and business policy environment, as well as access to business finance.

The United States, which was last year’s leader, slipped to the third position.

Read more @

No record of Singapore importing Thai pineapples containing cyclamic acid: SFA

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Tuesday (May 28) that a brand of frozen peeled pineapples from Thailand rumoured to contain cyclamic acid has not been imported here.

According to the SFA, cyclamic acid is a sweetening agent that is allowed for use in certain food products at levels specified in food regulations here.

However, the agency said that the use of the agent in frozen and chilled fruits is “not permitted in Singapore”.


My photo: Abstract - fan dancing

A public domain photo by me

Forum: Personal mobility journey must go on

In view of the recent spate of Forum letters on personal mobility devices (PMDs), I applaud policymakers for not taking the easy way out by going for an outright ban.

While this might immediately quell voices of dissent, it would prevent many others from ever benefiting from new micro-mobility options.

Technology will only move forward. Even if regulators cave in now, new micro-mobility alternatives will emerge in time to come. For example, the hoverboard that was mooted more than two decades ago in the movie Back To The Future could well become reality in the near term.

Should we as a society, continue to apply a carte blanche ban on all such devices?

Some writers also pointed to similar curbs in countries such as Germany as the way forward. In Germany, e-scooters will soon be allowed on roads but not pavements. However, what many reports failed to mention is the fact that cycling lanes in Germany are considered roads, and that there are increased fatalities resulting from accidents between cyclists and motorists. This number can only go up when the new e-scooter rules kick in.

In fact, I believe what Germany is doing is not all that different from Singapore. It has not banned e-scooters outright. It is also looking at building better infrastructure, possibly akin to Singapore's plans to build more cycling paths to better segregate mobility devices from pedestrians and cars.

E-scooters are a relatively new phenomenon here but, even then, laws have been swiftly passed to govern their specifications and usage to protect users and pedestrians. Regular reviews are undertaken by the authorities as well as the Active Mobility Advisory Panel to plug gaps and keep regulations up to date. This is supplemented by extensive public education. This approach is a robust and sustainable one.

We must continue to chart a new era of micro-mobility transportation that is not only safer for everyone, but also responsible to the environment, our city and our pockets.

I am confident that we will eventually get there, but it is inevitable that there will be some bumps along the way. Our culture of tolerance, graciousness and responsibility must always prevail and never erode. It is what makes us uniquely Singapore.

Denis Koh Teck Leong


You may want to read Forum: Evolution of active mobility in S'pore is encouraging

Technology: 5G could mean less time to flee a deadly hurricane, heads of NASA and NOAA warn

It has become increasingly clear that the wireless industry is trying to push the idea of speedy 5G wireless networks before the technology is actually ready. But until today, we had not realized that people’s lives might also be at stake.

As reported by The Washington Post and CNET, the heads of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warn the issue could set back the world’s weather forecasting abilities by 40 years — reducing our ability to predict the path of deadly hurricanes and the amount of time available to evacuate.

It is because one of the key wireless frequencies earmarked for speedy 5G millimeter wave networks - the 24 GHz band - happens to be very close to the frequencies used by microwave satellites to observe water vapor and detect those changes in the weather. They have the potential to interfere. And according to NASA and NOAA testimony, they could interfere to the point that it delays preparation for extreme weather events.


Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Scam warning: Nearly 100 police reports made against online sellers of concert, event tickets

The police have received more than 98 reports of e-commerce scams involving the sale of concert and event tickets here in the first four months of the year.

In an advisory issued on Monday (May 27), they are reminding the public to exercise more caution when buying tickets online.

The police said that for the 98 cases, the victims of the reported scams either did not receive the tickets, or received invalid tickets after their payments were made.

They are advising potential buyers to be wary of online advertisements of concert or show tickets going at cheap prices that “sound too good to be true”.


Hypothyroidism, Metformin & Weight Loss

Metformin is a diabetes drug that can improve insulin sensitivity and promote weight loss by helping lower glucose levels and prevent hunger. It works as a weight-loss aid, but may not be suitable for people with hypothyroidism because it can interact with levothyroxine - thyroid replacement hormone - and lead to high blood sugars.

People with diabetes must pay close attention to glucose levels when using levothyroxine. Because levothyroxine can affect metformin and make it less effective, these two drugs should not be used together.

Losing weight with both diabetes and hypothyroidism can be challenging. A combination of a healthy, calorie-reduced diet and exercise should help you lose weight at a slow and steady pace, just work with your doctor and dietitian.


Video: Nice trick to stop baby from crying - using mom's dirty laundry

More dengue cases this year than all of 2018

A recent spike in dengue cases has caused the total so far this year to exceed that of the whole of 2018, a surge that has prompted the National Environment Agency (NEA) to bring forward its annual dengue prevention programme.

The programme involves grassroots organisations and NEA officials raising residents' awareness of the spread of the disease and ways to curb it.

NEA said 3,541 dengue cases have been reported to date this year, compared with 3,285 cases for the whole of 2018.

Three people, all of whom were in their seventies, have died from the mosquito-borne viral disease this year.


Forum: Colonial past contributed to Singapore of today

The days of colonial rule ended in 1963 when Britain left Singapore to govern itself.

It is pertinent to note that the locals in present-day Singapore are descendants of immigrants who came here when the British established a trading post on the island in 1824.

To harp on British colonialism in Singapore and to show traits of anti-colonialism after 200 years, targeting the developments that the British made possible and which benefited the people, is to be mean-spirited (Give Elgin Bridge more meaningful name, May 24).

This year, as Singapore marks its bicentenary, it is timely to acknowledge that without the British presence, there would be no modern Singapore, and that is something to consider when we take the anti-colonial path and demand that structures bearing British names be replaced.

It was the British who built up this island, and it was only from the 1950s and 1960s that the foundations that they laid were strengthened and improved upon by the Government.

By removing British references in the names of buildings or landmarks, we would be removing a part of the history and heritage we are trying to preserve.

What would present-day Singapore be without these beginnings?

Florence Veronica Minjoot


You may want to read
1) Danger in keeping only positives from the past
2) Good reasons behind names of monuments, bridges

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Forum: Singaporeans courteous but not mindful

Based on my experience, Singaporeans are courteous but not mindful (She gives up high-flying career to pursue mindfulness, May 19).

Often, when I hold the door open for people in Singapore, many simply walk through without saying "thank you".

However, when I follow their disrespectful act with "it is my pleasure to hold the door for you", invariably, the person says "thank you" quickly with some embarrassment.

Another example is when I am at a hawker centre and I am asked whether the empty seats at my table are taken. Usually, when I say no, the person sits down immediately without saying anything.

However, when I say, "it is my pleasure to answer your question", once again, the "thank you" comes out quickly.

Singaporeans are courteous but just not mindful.

Mindfulness is the key to courtesy too.

Ong Poh Seng


My 2 cents:
Yes, we need to say more THANK YOU and PLEASE.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Warning: Law Society issues call for caution after 'alarming' scams targeting law firm clients

The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) held an unprecedented press conference on Friday (May 24) urging the public to be cautious following an "alarming" series of scams in April, with one victim cheated out of a "significant" amount of money.

The scammers targeted clients of law firms. They would email the clients who were buyers in property transactions and, posing as their solicitor, request fund transfers.

It is not known if the two cases were linked and whether they were "local fraudsters" or based overseas, LawSoc president Gregory Vijayendran told reporters on Friday.

Read more @

My 2 cents:
Do not just remit any money when one receives instructions from the receiving party. Confirm with the receiving party on whether they are the one that sent the instructions. A simple call will save you thousands of dollars.

Recalled: Waitrose pickled sweet sliced beetroot

Authorities have ordered the recall of Essential Waitrose pickled sweet sliced beetroot, saying that the product "may contain small pieces of glass".

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Friday (May 24) said it has directed Cold Storage, the sole importer of the product into Singapore, to recall the product.

The product originates from the United Kingdom. The affected products are labelled best before end of September next year. The 340g glass jar has a metal top with a paper label, added the agency.

The recall is ongoing, said the agency in the media release.

Read more @

Women are more likely to die if they have a cardiac arrest in public places

Image for illustration only

Women are less likely than men to receive life-saving CPR in a public place if they suffer a cardiac arrest, research suggests.

Dutch scientists found 73% of men who had public cardiac arrests received CPR from a bystander - but only 68% of women did.

Fears touching a woman's chest may be seen as sexual harassment may put people off from helping to restart their heart, scientists say.

An expert commenting on the study also claimed that bystanders may be scared of hurting 'frail' women by performing CPR.


Why turning up the heat could make women tops in the office

Turning up the heating at work could give women the edge over their male colleagues.

Women think better at higher temperatures, while men perform better when it is colder, a study found.

When they were asked to do mental arithmetic, women got almost 9% more right when the temperature rose by 5C (9F). They tried harder, making more attempts to get answers - unlike men, who solved 3% fewer tasks correctly when the temperature rose by 5C.

It is well known that women often feel chilly in offices while their male colleagues are sweating. The new findings suggest women do not just need it to be warmer for comfort, but to be able to solve problems efficiently.


Sunday, 26 May 2019

Forum: Revamp area where funeral companies are located - updated with reply from NEA

The harrowing experience Mr Sunil Kumar went through resonated with me (Show the dead more respect, May 20). I went through a similar ordeal when my father passed away in 2015.

At the Geylang Bahru industrial site where a number of casket and funeral companies are located, cleanliness is not observed at all.

Family members choose casket companies or funeral directors with the expectation that they will discharge their services with pride. They are primarily involved in the bathing, washing and dressing of a body till it reaches the funeral parlour or home for the final rites performed by family members.

As this is the final stage before the body gets cremated or buried, we must ensure every effort to honour the person. This is the final act of kindness we can provide for the deceased. A proper room with air-conditioning should be provided.

How is it that the cleanliness and facilities in this area have been overlooked all this time?

A complete revamp is required.

Could the authorities consider providing a dedicated building to house such funeral companies in a central vicinity?

V. Balu


Forum: New funeral parlour sites will see better after-death facilities

We thank Mr Sunil Kumar and Mr V. Balu for their feedback (Show the dead more respect, May 20, and Revamp area where funeral companies are located, May 23).

We have also contacted Mr Kumar about his experience at one of the funeral parlours located at Geylang Bahru.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) licenses funeral parlours with embalming facilities to safeguard environmental public health. As part of the regulatory regime, we issue guidelines and conduct periodic inspections of funeral parlour premises that provide embalming services.

We agree with the writers that after-death services should be provided in a manner that is in accordance with religious and cultural practices and preferences, and which accords dignity to the deceased and comfort to the bereaved families.

In response to Mr Kumar's feedback, NEA inspected the premises in question and found that the funeral parlour is no longer in operation. We have attempted to contact the licensee, and investigations are ongoing. We have also contacted funeral directors, funeral parlour operators, and the Association of Funeral Directors Singapore, on some of the feedback.

We will work with these stakeholders, in consultation with the relevant religious groups, to look at how the current processes can be improved, especially for families who prefer to carry out ritual washing of their loved ones away from home.

There is a growing demand for after-death facilities and services in Singapore.

To meet this demand, we will be launching five new funeral parlour sites for development over the next 10 years or so. These are all dedicated, purpose-built facilities, and are part of NEA's efforts to improve the after-death facilities and service delivery in Singapore.

Wong Chiu Ying
Director, Memorial Facilities and Planning Department
National Environment Agency


You may want to read  Forum: Consider legislating funeral industry so public is more informed

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Exceptional people: Mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow becomes first South-east Asian to climb world’s three highest peaks

Image from his facebook account

Singaporean mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow, 55, has become the first South-east Asian to successfully scale the world’s three highest peaks  — Everest, K2 (1st Singaporean to reach peak of K2 on 31 July 2012) and Kangchenjuga.

Khoo, in a press release on May 22, said he conquered Nepal’s 8,586m Mount Kangchenjuga on May 15, 2019.

About 7,000 people have reached the top of Everest, but only 420 have successfully climbed Kangchenjunga, Khoo said.


Forum: 'Single parenthood by choice' not always about choice

While similarities may exist across divorce cases, we should not be so quick to dismiss those caring for their children alone as cases of "single parenthood by choice" (Policies should not inadvertently encourage single parenthood; Oh Ee Hoe, May 20).

This is because a choice that presents a poor chance of survival or leaves one in hazardous circumstances is no more than a cloaked unviable option. Consider the following scenarios:

In the case of family violence, had a parent faced with relentless family violence not elected to leave for safety with his or her children, they would have been subjected to an environment that would not only be injurious to their mental and emotional well-being, but also highly perilous to their physical state.

In the case of adultery, do we really expect a parent to put up with the promiscuous ways of his or her spouse just so "single parenthood by choice" would not be ticked as an option? What values would we be imparting to the children watching?

In the case of irresponsible behaviours, such as compulsive gambling, excessive drinking or imprudent neglect of maintaining the children financially, "single parenthood by choice" might be the only sober option to get away from a spouse who is dissipating family savings, remaining unfailingly intoxicated, indulging in dereliction of parental responsibilities, and causing immense distress to all at home.

Each divorce carries with it a unique set of circumstances. Only the Family Justice Courts which is privy to the details can make a judgment based on merit, and hopefully one that courageously defies political correctness to place the best interests of the children above looking fair to both parents.

While there are parents who may have elected to divorce due to reasons other than those examples cited here, we must remain aware of and sensitive to those for whom "single parenthood by choice" was less about having any feasible choice at hand, but more about survival, safety and well-being.

Lily Ong


Lens replacement because of cataracts may improve sleep

Seniors who get new lenses implanted during cataract surgery may not only see better but also experience better sleep, suggests a new study of how light entering the eye regulates the body’s internal clock.

In the small laboratory study, researchers determined that people with new lenses spent more time in deep sleep and performed better on tests of cognition than healthy age-matched individuals, according to the results published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

“The main take home message is that cataract lens replacement may be associated with improved circadian rhythms, better cognitive performance and improved sleep,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Sarah Chellappa, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Read more @

Kissing is a risk factor for throat gonorrhea

Deep kissing with tongue may be a way that gonorrhea is passed on, even if romantic partners have not been otherwise sexually active, according to research from Australia.

Although the study involved only gay and bisexual men, the risk of transmitting gonorrhea orally is likely also present for heterosexuals and particularly sex workers, the study authors write in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Public health messaging has focused on condom use because most gonorrhea is thought to be transmitted during penile-anal sex among men who have sex with men. However, recent studies have suggested that sex accounts for only part of the documented cases, especially when gonorrhea occurs in the throat.

"Kissing may be riskier than previously thought," Chow told Reuters Health by email. "This may help people understand how the infection was introduced, particularly if they haven't been sexually active."

Read more @

Friday, 24 May 2019

Singapore seniors each need at least S$1,379 monthly to meet basic needs

Chinatown is one place where senior Singaporeans gather to pass the time

A Singaporean senior citizen aged 65 and above and living alone needs about S$1,379 a month to meet basic standards of living.

The amount increases to S$1,721 for those aged between 55 and 64.

As for couples aged 65 and older, they need S$2,351 a month.

That is what a team of researchers found after conducting focus-group discussions with more than 100 people who come from various ethnic groups, housing types and educational levels. Almost nine in 10 (89%) were aged 55 and above.


New S$528,000 fund to help disadvantaged people stay employed

Image for illustration only

When stereotypes, stigmas and prejudices prevent people with disabilities or mental health problems from finding jobs, they are often financially or socially disadvantaged for life.

To overcome these barriers, a new fund was launched on Thursday (May 23) to address the problem of social exclusion of disadvantaged groups here, bringing employment and vocational training support to where it is needed most.

The Learning Initiatives for Employment — Community Impact Fund programme is run by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), with the aim of equipping participants with skills, and helping them find jobs and stay employed.

It will target four marginalised groups, namely:
  • People with disabilities
  • People recovering from mental illnesses
  • Disadvantaged women
  • Youth-at-risk


My photo - Jewel Changi Airport

A public domain photo by me

If you see these ‘hooks’ in public restrooms, do not touch them - just call the police

Source: Shutterstock
Spy cameras come in all shapes and sizes. Law enforcement uses them to monitor terrorists and criminals and keep track of drivers on our roads. Advancements in technology, however, have made it very easy for anyone to obtain spy cameras, install them in public places, and use the footage for their own private use.

These mini cameras can be installed in the restroom door as screws, part of the bolt and latch, or even as part of the door frame. Then again, it may just be a mini camera in its original form, just hidden inconspicuously.

If you do happen to spot one of these devices, do not touch it - just notify the police.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Eating more fruit and vegetables is a more efficient way of improving gut bacteria

Improving gut bacteria could help curb anxiety, according to a review of medical studies.

Probiotics and sticking to a balanced diet have both been found to have a positive effect on symptoms.

Eating more fruit and vegetables appears to be the most beneficial intervention for boosting 'good bacteria', scientists said.

The Chinese research is the latest in a long line of studies to link mental health to microorganisms found in the gut.


“All Disease Begins in The Gut.” - Hippocrates

Simple exercise to relief text neck

Tilt your head backwards on your chair while listening to one or two songs. You may also use a little strength so that you can feel more pressure on your neck.

Quote by Mr Lee Kuan Yew on foreign talents

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

How an erection drug could cure heart failure

Viagra pills

The anti-impotence drug Cialis could be used to cure heart failure, according to new research.

The erectile dysfunction drug Tadalafil, which is similar to Viagra and sold under the brand name Cialis, was found to slow and even reverse the progression of the condition in sheep by researchers at the University of Manchester.

The British Heart Foundation-funded study is a breakthrough in the hunt to cure the disease which kills 66,000 Britons each year.


My photo - flower

A public domain photo by me

Surefire signs your child is ready to stop napping

According to a midwife and child health nurse Jane Barry, there are three clear signs your kid is ready to stop daytime sleeps. Ignore them at your peril.

1. It is nap time but your child is really alert.
2. Bedtime is way way later than normal.
3. You have accidentally "missed" the afternoon nap...and there is no tantrum

Exceptions to the rule …

As we know, every child is different so there are a few exceptions to this rule of three.


Being a chatterbox around your children 'boosts their IQ and increases their cognitive skills

Talking and reading to toddlers could boost their intelligence

Being a chatterbox could boost your child's intelligence, according to new research.

It found youngsters exposed to large amounts of speech by their parents had higher IQs and better cognitive skills.

The children, aged two to four, also tended to have better non-verbal skills such as reasoning, numeracy and shape awareness.

Additionally, the study found children who interacted with adults that used a diverse vocabulary knew a greater variety of words themselves.


Sunday, 19 May 2019

Parkinson’s disease can hit those in their 20s, affecting movement, mood and sleep

While it is largely regarded as a condition afflicting those above the age of 60, Parkinson's disease affects younger adults too.

About one in eight patients have symptoms before the age of 50 and, one in 20, before they reach 40, said Associate Professor Prakash Kumar Manharlal, a senior consultant in neurology at the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI).

Those in the under-50 age group are said to have young-onset Parkinson’s disease. They make up a fifth of the 4,000 Parkinson’s disease patients seen at NNI, where the youngest patient treated was in his early 20s.

When medications alone can no longer control symptoms or when complications from medications affect quality of life, patients may consider a surgical treatment known as deep brain stimulation, he said.

Electrodes are inserted into a targeted area of the brain and a small pacemaker-like device is surgically placed under the skin, beneath the collarbone.  The device sends electrical signals to the part of the brain involved in motor function to decrease symptoms.


Diabetes drug metformin could relieve fibromyalgia

A 'go-to' diabetes drug could transform the lives of fibromyalgia sufferers, research suggests.

A study found treating sufferers battling the chronic pain disorder with metformin 'dramatically' improved their symptoms.

And some even saw their pain intensity go from ten out of a possible 11 to zero thanks to the commonly prescribed diabetes drug.

The researchers also found a clear link between fibromyalgia and insulin resistance, which occurs when the body fails to respond to the hormone and skews its blood sugar control. 


Public domain photo - tim sum by Kirk K

chicken feet

Black fungus and celery dumpling

Fish roe and scallop dumpling

Shrimp, dried scallops, and Chinese celery dumplings
You may want to view other photos by Kirk K.

Technology: Lenovo just unveiled the world's first laptop with a folding screen

Source: Yahoo news

PC giant Lenovo has just unveiled the world's first foldable laptop. The device, which is still a prototype and doesn't yet have a firm release date or pricing, will be a part of the company's venerable ThinkPad X1 family of notebooks and feature a foldable 13.3-inch touchscreen display as well as a keyboard attachment.

In development at Lenovo for three years, the X1 prototype can be folded down the middle and held as a book, or laid out flat and used as what is essentially a tablet PC. And while Samsung's Galaxy Fold may have hit a brick wall after early users saw its foldable display crack, Lenovo's offering proves that foldable devices are still the future of personal computing.


Saturday, 18 May 2019

Proton therapy system seeks to offer safer treatment for cancer patients in Singapore

Cancer patients in Singapore can soon choose a safer treatment with the ProBeam Proton Therapy System, the first of such advanced radiation treatment system in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The system, which costs about $32 million, has been successfully installed at the Biopolis by Proton Therapy, a subsidiary of healthcare diagnostics service provider Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (SAM). It is scheduled to be operational in early 2020.

It administers proton therapy treatment, a technologically-advanced method whereby high-energy proton beams target and kill cancer cells with precision.

This means that, unlike the standard method of X-ray radiation therapy, less radiation is given out beyond the affected area, thereby reducing the risk of healthy-tissue damage due to side effects.


Exceptional people: DHL driver stops vehicle to piggyback elderly man across traffic junction

Checkout the video @

Strong link between simple acts of kindness and volunteering, donating

People who give up their seats to others on the train, return their trays after eating, or provide directions to a lost person, are more likely to engage in bigger acts of generosity, such as volunteering or donating to charities.

These “micro-giving” acts of voluntary, spontaneous and everyday kindness were examined in 2018’s Individual Giving Survey by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).

Speaking to reporters on Thursday (May 16), NVPC’s chief executive officer, Ms Melissa Kwee, said that micro-giving acts were a “catalyst to much more significant, sustainable and impactful giving behaviour”.

People who engaged in these small acts of kindness, for instance, were about twice as likely to volunteer compared to those who did not, and were 29 per cent more likely to make cash donations.


My 2 cents:
One does not have to do big or to donate generously to be deemed as doing good. A small good deed a day will accumulate all the small deeds to a very big deed. So start doing small good deeds and your good karma will grow.

Pregnant women who snack on nuts during their first trimester are 'more likely to have a smart child

Image for illustration only

Pregnant women who munch on walnuts, almonds or pine nuts are more likely to have a brainy child, a study suggests.

Spanish scientists found children whose mothers ate three 30g servings of nuts a week in the first trimester scored better on cognitive function, attention and memory tests.

Nuts are rich in folate and essential fatty acids, which are thought to accumulate in brain tissue responsible for memory and attention spans.


My 2 cents:
Another way of having smart kids is to take fish oil during schooling. Fish oil is full of omega-3, which is the nutrient for your brain.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Fast walkers may live longer regardless of body weight

A recent study found that people who walk at faster paces may live longer than people who walk slower. The data was self-reported by nearly 475,000 people in the UK, revealing that this increased physical activity’s longevity benefit persisted despite the person’s body weight. The findings underscore the importance of getting adequate levels of physical activity.

Of all the people evaluated, the study found that underweight individuals who reported walking at slow paces had the lowest life expectancy: an average of 64.8 years for men and 72.4 years for women. The association pertains to people who ‘habitually’ walk at faster paces rather than people who just sometimes speed walk.

At the heart of the matter is physical activity, which is known to offer a number of health benefits. This is the first study a looked specifically at typical walking speeds and how it correlates to life expectancy; the information was self-reported by the participants.


My photo - trees and reflections

A public domain photo by me

Types of loneliness and how to beat them

1. Emotional loneliness
Emotional loneliness is not circumstantial but, rather, comes from within.

2. Situational loneliness
Situational loneliness can result from being in circumstances that make developing friendships difficult.

3. Social loneliness
Social loneliness is typically experienced by those who have problems in social situations because of shyness, social awkwardness, or a sense of low self-esteem.

4. Chronic loneliness
Chronic loneliness is the term used to describe those who have been lonely for so long that it has become a way of life to them.

Read more on how to beat them @

Quote by Mr Lee Kuan Yew

New drugs could make cancer a "manageable" disease

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The world's first drugs designed to stop cancer cells becoming resistant to treatment could be available within the next decade, scientists have said.

A £75m investment to develop the drugs has been announced by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

Chief executive Prof Paul Workman said cancer's ability to adapt to drugs is the biggest challenge in treatment.

The new drugs could make cancer a "manageable" disease in the long term and "more often curable", he said.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Warning: More than S$14,000 cheated from Instagram users in fake Lazada campaigns

There have been 14 reports of scams linked to fake Lazada campaigns on Instagram and at least S$14,000 have been lost to fraudsters, the police said.

The culprits would impersonate as the friends or followers of the Instagram users, telling them to sign up for campaigns by online shopping site Lazada to win money.

In a press release on Tuesday (May 14), the police alerted that common campaign names used include “Lazada Campaign”, “Lazada Raffle”, “Lazada Gift Money” and “Lazada Lucky Draw”.

They would ask the victims for their contact numbers, photos of their credit or debit cards as well as the one-time passwords from their bank accounts to carry out fraudulent transactions. The victims later realised that they were deceived after discovering unauthorised card transactions on their accounts.


Exceptional people: 3 people lauded for helping victims or the police

(From left) Recipients of the Community Partnership Award and Public Spiritedness Award include Ms Sitti Nahida, Madam Chan Mee Lian and Mr Foo Kong Soon Sam. Source: TNP

Mr Foo Kong Soon Sam, a security supervisor at the International Merchandising Mart (IMM), pulled a lady to safety from the ledge of IMM sixth-storey carpark. Mr Foo represented IMM in receiving the Community Partnership Award.

Public Spiritedness Awards were also awarded to two members of the public for assisting the SPF in two separate cases.

Ms Sitti Nahida, a senior care associate at Jamiyah Nursing Home, called the police when she saw a man scratching the side of vehicles and trying to unlock their doors.

The other award recipient was Madam Chan Mee Lian, a service officer from OCBC bank, who stopped a woman in her 60s from transferring $32,500 and becoming a victim of a love scam.


The secret of a successful marriage

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With so much pressure on modern couples, many find their lives falling into different timetables and routines.

Sharing mealtimes is not always easy – but a report says it’s as important as a good sex life for long-term happiness.

The study by the Marriage Foundation found that more couples who eat together say they are happy with each other than those who routinely eat apart – 67% as opposed to 58%.

Foundation chairman Sir Paul Coleridge, a retired High Court judge, said neglect and boredom were the biggest relationship-killers and taking the time to eat together ‘is vital to ensuring to communicate properly, undistracted by screens, and surely every bit as important as sex’.


CO2 levels hit historic high sounding new climate change alarm

Scientists in the US have detected the highest levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere since records began, sounding new alarm over the relentless rise of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which has tracked atmospheric CO2 levels since the late 1950s, on Saturday morning detected 415.26 parts per million (ppm).

It was the first time on record that the observatory measured a daily baseline above 415 ppm.

The last time Earth's atmosphere contained this much CO2 was more than three million years ago, when global sea levels were several metres higher and parts of the Antarctica were blanketed in forest.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Number of frail patients on the rise in Singapore: NHG

The number of frail patients here has increased by 35.5%, going from 36,208 in 2010 to 49,092 in 2017.

Associate Professor Reshma Merchant, head of the Geriatric Medicine division at the National University Hospital, highlighted five symptoms of frailty.

They are: Unintended weight loss of 5% or more within six to 12 months, a general feeling of exhaustion three or more days a week, a slow walking speed, muscle weakness and low levels of physical activity.

Those who experience one or two of the above symptoms are considered pre-frail.


S$1 million grant to boost support for people with special needs, ex-offenders, transient workers

Organisations across Singapore that help people in need such as ex-offenders, those suffering mental health problems, and transient workers, stand to benefit from a new S$1 million grant programme.

At least 50 social service and community organisations will each receive up to S$20,000 under the programme, called “Bless Our City”, unveiled on Monday (May 13). So far, 40 organisations have been invited to take part.

The programme is a joint effort between real estate developer Far East Organisation and the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC).